Happy Black Hole Friday!
NASA is trying to rebrand the spend-happy day after Thanksgiving, inspiring us to appreciate the wonders of the universe by contemplating its most extreme objects: black holes.
As part of this effort, the agency released a new video today (Nov. 29) called "5 Things: Black Holes" that lays out the basics of these light-gobbling behemoths.
"If you're not shopping, or on a break between stores, let yourself get sucked in to all this great material we have on black holes," NASA officials wrote in a statement on the agency's homepage today (Nov. 29). "See you on the other side of the event horizon."
The event horizon is a black hole's famous "point of no return" beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape.
The new video explains this, of course, as well as the difference between stellar-mass black holes and supermassive black holes, the basics of how gravity works (massive objects warp space-time) and more.
So, chew on this ample food for thought today if the frenzy of Black Friday consumerism has got you down. And if you want yet more inspiration, check out the first-ever direct photos of a black hole's silhouette, which were released earlier this year by the Event Horizon Telescope team.
- Images: Black Holes of the Universe
- What Are Black Holes?
- Black Hole Quiz: How Well Do You Know Nature's Weirdest Creations?
Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.
I wish you all a weekend filled with love and light.